With a year full of new practices necessary for coping with the pandemic, one phenomenon has been particularly well-documented: an unprecedented bike boom. As biking made its way to the forefront of many peoples’ routines, the past months of lockdowns brought about a dramatic increase in bicycle sales: New bikes have been in short supply for months, cities have redesigned their streets to accommodate an influx of cyclists, and people have been looking for new ways to escape from the daily routines and explore their surroundings on self-sufficient trips.
As the minimalist, off-the-beaten- track evolution of traditional bike touring, bikepacking is a fusion of multiday backpacking and mountain biking that enables the ultimate freedom: “fast enough to cover a whole continent in a reasonable time but slow enough to see very many interesting things,” as experienced traveler Frank van Rijn says best. What matters most is the journey, not the destination—experiencing and going places, but without much urgency of arrival is what really makes the pursuit. Choosing the roads less traveled, connecting to the surroundings every pedal of the way: Bikepacking is more than a method of transportation—it’s a vibrant traveling philosophy.
This book is designed to celebrate this life in the slow, off-the-beaten lane—active travel and the sense of adventure, independence and the freedom at bikepacking’s core. Readers will find themselves immersed among a host of geographies and terrains—from overnight city escapes in Europe to three-week expeditions in the Tibetan backcountry. But, if there was one recurring theme riding through it? Bikepacking is not all about the bike, more the journeys and worlds it opens up: remote mountain passes and hidden suburbs; alpine hut arrivals and lowland bivvy lookouts; coastline crab cookouts and col-top coffee stops; plunge pool swims and shoreline surf spots; group social and solo challenges; tame tarmac and gnarly gravel; challenges and cultures; and, most of all, people, place, and possibility.
Bikepacking presents a roundup of real journeys from all around the world and for all levels of experience, as told by their protagonists—from beginner to expert, short to long, mild to wild, solo to family trips with young children—and gives the readers the lowdown on the tips and tricks to plan their expeditions. After all, bikepacking doesn’t have to mean long haul. If the pandemic has shown us anything, it is an appreciation for local, accessible adventures and escapes from your doorstep, and the importance of stewardship of the great outdoors and the world’s wild places. Co-edited by expert bikepacker Stefan Amato, this book is an invitation to pack a bag and prep the bike—adventure awaits!
The book includes 10 HOW TOs with first-hand tips and advice to plan one’s own adventure:
- How to Plan a Route
- Bikes, Bags & Setups
- Master Kitgrid
- Trailside Fixes
- Sustenance: Considerations for Eating and Drinking in the Wild
- How to Travel in a Group
- How to Travel as a Family
- How to Travel Solo
- How to Travel as a Couple